The window for submitting applications for Pupillages commencing October 2024 has now closed.
1KBW has a distinguished reputation in family law, both nationally and internationally, and is among the top tiers of the leading sets in family law. We are unique in the depth of our experience and our successes in both financial remedy law and law relating to children. The breadth of work we offer enables our members to tailor their own practice to suit their personality and interests in a way that other sets, with a narrower focus, cannot.
Our London-based barristers work at the cutting edge of family law development; we have been involved in most of the ground-breaking cases in the last two decades. We also house many of the most innovative and experienced alternative dispute resolution evaluators and umpires in the country. Former members of chambers include Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, and Baroness Hale of Richmond, until recently, President of the Supreme Court.
Described as “a magic circle of family sets”, we are home to many of the leading Silks and Juniors at the Family Bar and are pleased to have more barrister rankings in the leading legal directories, Chambers and Partners and Legal 500, that any other family set.
“1KBW is the heavyweight of the family bar. The best family law set which can handle financial and children work with equal ease from silks to pupils.”
– LEGAL 500 2024
At 1KBW we have a good record of taking on our pupils as tenants in Chambers. We seek to recruit the most talented candidates as pupils and only offer pupillage to those we think have genuine potential to continue their journey at 1KBW. Our twelve-month pupillages are divided between different supervisors. Pupils are encouraged to attend court with members of chambers to gain first-hand experience at all levels of court.
The work ranges from matrimonial finance, including high-profile, substantial asset claims; private law children cases, including leave to remove and intractable contact disputes; public law children cases and child abduction work. Pupils are assessed on a regular basis, provided with regular feedback from pupil supervisors and are expected to undertake written work including skeleton arguments, opinions and schedules of assets.
To help build confidence as an advocate, chambers provides regular in-house advocacy training, including mock hearings in front of the members of chambers who sit part-time as judges and in-house seminars known as ‘Masterclasses’ at which Silks and senior members of chambers speak on practice and procedure in the main areas of chambers work.
“We offer some of the best structured and most enjoyable pupillages at the family bar for two candidates each year.”
– Katherine Kelsey, Head of Pupillage
The Application Process
1KBW is not in the Pupillage Gateway system. However, we follow the Pupillage Gateway timetable and make offers in accordance with that timetable.
Who Should Apply?
We are looking for pupils who have the ability, motivation and temperament to succeed at the Family Bar. Candidates should be articulate, persuasive and have good academic qualifications (a 2:1 honours degree or above), as well as demonstrating an interest in family law.
Applications for pupillage are initially considered on paper, after which a number of candidates will be invited to attend an initial interview. Following this first round interview a shortlist of candidates will be invited to attend a second-round interview, after which the successful candidates will be notified on the same date as offers are made in the Pupillage Gateway.
Candidates are assessed for evidence of intellectual ability, advocacy skills, relevant experience and potential. Above all, we seek pupils who will maintain and contribute to our commitment to excellence.
We offer each pupil a tax-free grant of £42,500 plus expenses which is paid during the first six months. In addition, pupils retain the income earned during their second six. Second six earnings are typically between £10,000 and £30,000 although these figures are not guaranteed. Due to the reputation of chambers, pupils can expect to be regularly briefed when they have found their feet.
Equality and Diversity
At 1KBW we are resolved to improving diversity and inclusion at the bar and advancing accessibility to underrepresented groups. We are committed to delivering a fair and transparent recruitment process and ensuring the retention our talented members.
We were a founding partner of Bridging the Bar and are signed up to the 10,000 Black Intern Project. As well as this, we have devised specific initiatives, such as our Essay writing competition, to provide opportunities and experiences without boundaries. We have keen ambitions to do more.
We participate actively in raising funds for charitable organisations, especially those with close associations to the legal profession, such as Advocate and Support through Court. We are Silver Circle Patrons of Advocate on account of our fundraising.
Many of our barristers undertake pro bono work on behalf of the charity, some being recognised with awards for their dedication to increasing opportunities for fair access to justice. Members and staff contribute to a wide range of charities and events on a personal level, as well as collectively throughout the year.